Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner clash over Laguna ’08 again

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Long running tension and animosity between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner is showing no sign of letting up, despite the Australian’s retirement from MotoGP at the end of the season.

The trigger for another clash has once again been the controversial and famous clash between the pair at Laguna Seca in 2008.

In an interview with Dainese’s Legends magazine, Ducati flop Rossi took another swipe at Stoner over the race which has become one of the most talked about of the modern era.

Nine-times world champion Rossi, who dismally failed to match Stoner’s Ducati record in a disastrous two-year spell on a factory Desmosedici machine, said the ex-Repsol Honda rider started to hate him after he lost the epic Laguna Seca race.

Stoner had dominated practice and qualifying on Ducati’s Desmosedici GP8 machine but Rossi delivered one of the best performances of his career to triumph in a controversial clash.

Stoner was critical of Rossi’s aggressive riding in the Laguna Seca race, particularly after a close call at the famous Corkscrew section. Stoner eventually crashed out of contention for the victory before remounting to take second, though the race was pivotal in deciding the outcome of the championship, which Rossi went onto win.

Rossi told Legends magazine: “Stoner started to hate me just because he lost. After that, he always seemed to talk about the past, this race, because he wasn’t man enough to understand that at the time, he lost.”

Stoner gave a short reaction to Rossi’s latest jibe to his 147,500 followers via his official Twitter feed (@Official_CS27).

He tweeted: “I think Valentino feels a little more brave now that I’m not there:)”
Stoner and Rossi have frequently clashed on and off track since the Laguna Seca race.

Stoner came up with the legendary put down to Rossi after the Italian knocked him out of contention in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez at the start of 2011.

When Rossi went to the Repsol Honda garage to apologise, Stoner asked the 33-year-old if his ambition had outweighed his talent.

The pair also clashed again earlier this year when Rossi opted to leave Ducati to move back to Yamaha.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt